Let me show you how to create a delicate bowl and a pair of placemats (or a tablerunner) from garland, so that the beauty of the season can be used for future celeberations.
Step 1: Gather Materials
- Autumn garland is found at hobby stores and is often made from a polyester blend fabric. When choosing your garland, find one that has different types of leaf texture. One of the leaf textures should be soft, similar to a dryer sheet, and the other should be stiff, similar to umbrella fabric.
- Also, select a garland that has various leaf sizes, so that they appear as random fallen leaves. If not available, trim the polyester leaf into the desired leaf shape.
- Softer leaves (dryer sheet texture) will be used for the decorative bowl.
- Firmer leaves (umbrella texture) will be used for the placemats/table runner.
- White Glue, diluted slightly with water
- Sponge Applicator/Paint Brush
- Jar with Lid
- Plastic Wrap
- Bowl (to soak leaves)
- Bowl (to act as the base/form)
For the Placemats/Table Runner
- Yellow or Orange Thread
- Needle or Sewing Machine
Step 2: Sort Through Garland
- Separate the leaves from the stem, and remove all traces of plastic by peeling the the vein from the leaf.
- Sort the leaves by into 2 piles...one that feels soft and the other that feels stiff.
- Place the soft leaves into a bowl of water, which helps soften them further.
Step 3: Create the Decorative Bowl
- Cover the outside of a bowl with plastic wrap and flip upside down.
- Working with the outside of the bowl, dab glue onto the outside of the bowl.
- Remove a leaf from the bowl of water, place on the bowl and brush glue on top of the leaf.
- Grab another leaf from the bowl of water, overlapping it onto the plastic wrap/leaf and extend it over the side of the bowl.
- Continue adding leaves and glue to the plastic wrap/leaf, until there is one continuous layer of leaves covering the bowl. Let dry overnight. (It is likely the plastic wrap will still be damp in the morning)
- Add another layer of leaves. Let dry overnight.
- Gently separate decorative bowl from (damp) plastic wrap and allow the inside to dry thoroughly. If the leaves on the outside are not holding together, either add more glue and/or let dry longer.
- Once bowl is completely dry, cover with a sealant.
Step 4: Sew the Placemats/Table Runner
- Working with the stiffer leaves, sort folded leaves from the flatter ones. Using an iron, press the folded leaves so they are no longer curled under.
- Select two or three leaves and tack together at one spot. Continue until you have made several pairs.
- Combine two (or more) of the pairs together, creating a larger section and set aside.
- Once several sections are available, postion them to approximate the size of a placemat (19" x 13"). Connect the sections by pinning/stitching individual leaves so wide gaps are filled in.
- Repeat the process to make a second placemat, or continue tacking leaves together and make a table runner.
Step 5: Fill Your Home With Color
- Place Halloween candy in the decorative dish
- Use one of the placemats as the centerpiece of the childrens table at Thanksgiving
- Arrange the placemats as a table runner on a buffet table to accomodate Thanksgiving desserts/side dishes
- Slip the decorative dish around the bowl that was used to shape it, and place it near soft drinks to act as the party ice bucket
- For an extra long hallway, frame the table runner for seasonal color
- Cheese and crackers make a grand presentation when served on a tray that has been lined with the placemat